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Witbooi hails N$18 billion German offer

2021-10-07  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Witbooi hails N$18 billion German offer
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Swapo member of parliament Lucia Witbooi has said the genocide negotiations that started some six years back between the Namibian and German governments have produced notable and tangible outcomes.  

Witbooi made the remarks while contributing to the genocide debate in parliament on Tuesday.

“These outcomes did not come easily, it took us years of intense negotiations with the world superpowers, and therefore, this is a historic accomplishment for all of us as Namibians,” Witbooi said.

She said it is important for Namibians to stand together as a nation to address the common inequalities and not prepare battlefields, among themselves.

“We should be conscious in addressing this matter and do it under the mantle of unity and respect for each other, that can only be realised through a common advocacy, no matter the political differences,” said the Swapo MP.

“It does not matter being a recognised or non-recognised traditional leader, as all leaders are recognised and respected by their own communities.”

An agreement was signed earlier this year between Namibia and the German government, which includes the European nation setting aside about N$18 billion to aid local projects over 30 years.

Witbooi said there is no denial from all Namibians, including government and the general public that the compensation currently offered by the German fall far short of the nation’s expectations.  “This compensation can never be equated to the atrocities of the genocide,” she said.

“We know that money will never compensate our losses and it is not possible to undo what has been done to our innocent men, women and children by Germans during the war,” she added. She said she believes the German government could do better in terms of the quantum, given their financial ability and stability. 

“Germany’s own history of postwar reconstruction, as well as post-unification integration, could be useful in this regard, therefore, I urge them to give us befitting and dignified compensation,” she said.

Witbooi says she also believes that the draft joint declaration offers a solid foundation for further engagements with the Germans to address any issue that is not adequately covered, including the issue of quantum of resources.  “I am appealing to my fellow members of this House, as well as all traditional leaders across the board to give the improved joint declaration a chance,” she said.

2021-10-07  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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